23 July 2014

USA: Royal New Zealand Navy Midshipman Experiences Carrier Operations Aboard USS George Washington


By Lt. j.g. Phillip Chitty, USS George Washington Public Affairs

USS GEORGE WASHINGTON, At Sea (NNS) -- The U.S. Navy's forward-deployed aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) hosted a Royal New Zealand navy Midshipman, July 19-20.

Originally from Dannevirke, New Zealand, Midshipman Anna-Marie Garnett, 19, has served one year as a supply officer in the Royal New Zealand navy. After graduating Supply Officer Initial Professional Course in 2014, she was selected for a naval foreign exchange program.

"It's been an amazing experience to see everything in action," said Garnett, who is the equivalent to an Ensign in the U.S. Navy. "I've been blessed to be able to witness the capabilities and operations of our U.S. allies."

USA: US, ROK Navies Build Relationships to Increase Interoperability


By MC2 Declan Barnes

<< U.S. Navy and ROK Navy sailors work together in the combat information center aboard USS Kidd (DDG 100). (U.S. Navy/MC2 Declan Barnes)

WATERS TO THE EAST OF THE KOREAN PENINSULA - The Arleigh-Burke class guided-missile destroyer USS Kidd (DDG 100), in co-operation with members of the George Washington Carrier Strike Group, participated in a bilateral exercise with the Republic of Korea (ROK) Navy, July 15-19.

To increase the interoperability, ROK navy liaison officers embarked U.S. Navy ships.

"Having the chance to work together with the crew on board Kidd has been extremely valuable to me," said Lt. Dong-Hoon Lee, a ROK navy liaison officer. "Through this exercise, our two navies have formed a formidable team on the water."

Industry: KAI selected as a LCH/LAH developer to tow the development of the aviation industry and strengthening of self-reliant defense simultaneously


- Targets exports of 600 units, putting total sales to 1,000. 
- Lays the groundwork for the new growth engine along with the KF-X project in the future aviation industry.

Korea Aerospace Industries, Ltd.(KAI), an only and sole Korean aircraft carrier takes charge of developing the Light Armed Helicopters(LAH) and Light Civil Helicopters(LCH) which are able to tow development of Korea's domestic aviation industry and reinforcing the Korean military's aviation strength simultaneously.

Both the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, and the Defense Acquisition Program Administration announced on the 21st that "KAI was selected as a preferred bidder for the core technology development of the LCH project and the system development of the LAH project."

Editorial: China to Join Military Exercises in Australia


By Kevin Placek

Chinese troops are scheduled to train on Australian soil for the first time.

Buried beneath the headlines this week was a rather intriguing geopolitical development: China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) will for the first time conduct joint military exercises in Australia. The announcement came as part of a four-day official visit to Australia by General Fan Changlong, the Vice Chairman of China’s Central Military Commission, following on from an earlier visit to China by Australia’s Minister for Defence, David Johnston.
According to the joint statement, China, Australia and the United States will take part in a land exercise called “Exercise Kowari” in Northern Australia in October this year. It will not only mark the first time Chinese forces train on Australian soil but also the first trilateral exercise between the three nations. Johnston hailed the agreement as an “important milestone” for trilateral defense cooperation. “Exercise Kowari,” he said, “is a firm demonstration of all three countries’ intent to work together towards enhancing mutual trust and regional stability.” 

Read the full story at The Diplomat

Editorial: Why Are South Asian States So Weak?


By Akhilesh Pillalamarri

Can South Asia’s states overcome the legacy of their histories?

A few weeks ago, my colleague Ankit Panda noted that some of Asia’s most fragile states are in South Asia, based on the results of the Fragile States Index (FSI). The ranking’s methodology was determined by numerous social, economic, and political indicators. One thing is clear: South Asian states are relatively weak and many of their governments cannot meet their objectives, such as implementing their own laws. For example, this is clear when one considers the inability of India to implement its own public health policies. According to the sociologist Max Weber, a weak state is unable to maintain a monopoly of violence over its own territory. This brings to mind Pakistan and its abysmal failure to control its own territories and maintain internal security. In fact, most states in the region, including Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan, Nepal, and Sri Lanka score low on the index and are close to failure.
So, why are South Asia’s states so weak? This problem is brilliantly discussed by Francis Fukuyama in his book The Origins of Political Order. In it, Fukuyama argues that South Asian states never developed the bureaucracies or institutions that enabled them to govern their territories effectively. This was due to the fragmented nature of society in South Asia. There are many caste, linguistic, and religious groups in the region which historically only interacted with themselves, though they lived side by side. Additionally, the region was dotted with numerous local rulers, princes, rajas, nawabs, sultans, nayaks, you name it. This enormous diversity made it difficult for any state to impose a single working bureaucracy on the land or for a “normal” civil society to emerge. As Machiavelli noted, it is extremely difficult to rule over a land with many lords. The result of all this for governance is that governments in South Asia have generally hovered above society without really establishing their writ within it. Internal weakness may also be responsible the non-vigorous foreign policy attitudes of many modern South Asian states because it leads to a focus on domestic affairs. 

Read the full story at The Diplomat

Editorial: John Kerry - North Korea is 'Quieter' Now


By Ankit Panda

North Korea’s ‘quietness’ tells us little about its intentions or of the success of U.S. diplomacy.

This Sunday, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry used an odd measure of assessing diplomatic success with North Korea. He implied that the fact that North Korea is “quieter” now than it was last year implies that the United States has made some progress with Northeast Asia’s irascible rogue state: “I just came back from China, where we are engaged with the Chinese in dealing with North Korea. And you will notice, since the visit last year, North Korea has been quieter. We haven’t done what we want to do yet with respect to the denuclearization, but we are working on that and moving forward.”
Unfortunately, there is no reason to believe that the extent to which North Korea is silent — or loud for that matter — tells us anything about where it stands diplomatically with its foes and what its short-term intentions are. Kerry’s remarks were likely inspired by the sharp uptick in violent rhetoric emanating from the North last spring. Back then, North Korea was threatening all-out war, an end to the 1953 ceasefire, and promising the annihilation of the South. Pyongyang additionally threatened to nullify the joint declaration on the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula; it later also threatened to restart its Yongbyon nuclear complex. This was also roughly the time when Pyongyang threatened a preemptive nuclear strike against the United States. Some of these threats were inspired by the 2013 U.S.-South Korea annual Foal Eagle exercise. The rest of them were arbitrary, designed to help Kim Jong-un consolidate power and appear strong. 

Read the full story at The Diplomat

Editorial: North Korea’s Asymmetric Submarine Doctrine


By Koh Swee Lean Collin

While North Korean submarines may be technologically dated, its access denial strategy can still be effective.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un made headlines last month when he visited the Korean People’s Army Naval Unit 167, part of the Korean People’s Navy (KPN) East Sea Fleet unit based in the South Hamgyong province. Photographs released by the Korean Central News Agency showed Kim on a rusty green-painted submarine No. 748, toying with the periscope in its control room. Kim also reportedly guided an actual drill onboard.
Many foreign analysts used Kim’s visit to comment on the decrepit state of the submarine he was visiting. For example, South Korea’s Defense Ministry spokesman, Kim Min-Seok, remarked that: “It appears that Pyongyang aims to show off its submarine might, but the submarines that our Navy holds are far superior, as ours do not make much noise and it can stay underwater far longer.”
The Technological Gap
This view is not without merit. From a strictly technical standpoint, submarine No. 748 – a Soviet-era Romeo (or possibly the Chinese Type-033 variant built by North Korean shipyards during the Cold War) – represents a bygone era. The Romeo/Type-033, which displaces 1,800 tons when submerged, traces its roots back to the German World War-vintage U-boat technology that was incrementally improved upon in the 1950s prior to being mass produced by the Soviets. Its combat systems, propulsion and quieting characteristics are considered obsolete by today’s standards.
This stands in stark contrast to the Republic of Korea Navy’s (ROKN) growing stable of modern submarines, including the KSS-1 Chang Bogo and the even more capable KSS-2 Sohn Won-Ilbased on the German Type-209/1400 and Type-214 respectively. North Korea’s vessels lack any missile capabilities and can only fire short-range, Cold War-vintage torpedoes. By contrast, ROKN submarines are equipped with the UGM-84C Sub-Harpoon sea-launched anti-ship missiles, which are capable of destroying enemy warships from 60-miles away. They also boast new German-made heavyweight homing torpedoes. The key difference between the two undersea fleets, however, are South Korea’s state-of-the-art combat systems, which are typically comprised of an integrated, digitalized command and control suite, sonar and electronic warfare equipment, as well as quieting features.
Thus, North Korea’s submarine capabilities are a far cry from those of its erstwhile Southern adversary. Moreover, the inter-Korean submarine technological gap will further widen when South Korea’s new submarines, notably the KSS-3, come online soon. 

Read the full story at The Diplomat

Editorial: RIMPAC and the Politics of Maritime Engagement


By Abhijit Singh

Both India and China have had strong strategic motives for taking part in RIMPAC this year.

Almost three weeks ago, the world’s largest naval exercise got underway in the Pacific. RIMPAC, or the Rim of the Pacific exercise, is a U.S. Pacific fleet organized and administered biannual naval drill held off Hawaii, which brings together maritime forces of many Pacific nations. This year, 49 ships and six submarines from 23 nations are taking part in exercises that will last for a duration of over four weeks, spread over two separate sea and harbor exercise programs.
Unsurprisingly, it is China’s participation in the exercises that has attracted the most attention. Even though it is the first time the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLA-N) has been invited to the exercises, the scale of its participation is considerable. With four of its premier maritime assets taking part in the exercises, including the destroyer Haikou and hospital ship Ark Peace, China is reportedly fielding the second largest contingent – a presence that belies the subdued image of a first time invitee. Needless to say, maritime observers have been surprised by the development, not least because the PLA-N is popularly perceived as the U.S. Navy’s chief adversary in the Pacific.
Curiously, the invitation to China to participate in the RIMPAC comes in the midst of deepening tensions in the Pacific littorals. In recent weeks, the PLA-N’s aggressive posturing in the South China Sea and the East Sea has led to confrontations with Japan, the Philippines and Vietnam. Many of these nations are close allies of the U.S. and are said to have opposed the plan to invite China. That the U.S. still managed to have its way says something about the priority it attached to securing Chinese participation at the exercise. 

Read the full story at The Diplomat

22 July 2014

News Story: Japan approves export of military equipment with sensors for missiles and submarine development

Kawasaki C-2 Transport Aircraft (Image: Airliners.net)

Japanese military contractors are taking their first steps toward selling weapons abroad since Prime Minister Shinzo Abe relaxed an export ban, a politically sensitive shift for a nation that long hesitated to turn its technology prowess into arms-sales profits.

On Thursday, the Ministry of Defense approved exports of a sensor made by Japan's largest military contractor, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. for use in air-defense missiles manufactured by Raytheon Co. of the U.S. The ministry also cleared a Japan-Britain research project involving technology for air-to-air missiles.

A week earlier, Mr. Abe and Prime Minister Tony Abbott of Australia signed an agreement to collaborate on submarine development. Analysts say the deal could give Australia access to a propulsion technology that allows Japanese submarines, built by Mitsubishi Heavy and Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd., to remain submerged for unusually long periods. 

The government says Japanese arms manufacturers need to be able to export in order to lower the country's high cost of procuring weapons. Because the industry is fragmented and production runs are small, Japan sometimes pays twice or three times as much as other countries' armed forces for comparable weapons, analysts say. And the country has been mostly cut off from international weapons-development joint ventures, which are increasingly used for complex, expensive weapons systems.

Read the full story at Army Recognition

News story: China Says Spy Ship Operations at RIMPAC 'In Line With International Law'

Dongdiao class auxiliary general intelligence (AGI) ship

BEIJING — Beijing has defended its dispatch of a spy ship to international waters off Hawaii, near where Chinese vessels are taking part in a US-led naval exercise for the first time, reports said Monday.

The defense ministry said the vessel’s activities are in line with international law, reported the Global Times, which is close to the ruling Communist Party.

Reports in the US quoted the US Navy saying that a Chinese surveillance vessel had been found operating near the location of the Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) naval exercises, viewed by analysts as one step toward potentially repairing ties at a time of heightened US-China tensions.

Four ships of the People’s Liberation Army Navy with an estimated 1,100 sailors on board — a missile destroyer, missile frigate, supply ship and hospital ship — are officially taking part in the RIMPAC exercises, which began last month.

Read the full story at DefenseNews